I was lucky enough to attend the Cloud Communications Summit in London this year, an event hosted by Cavell Group designed to provide a vendor-neutral space for people to talk about cloud communications. After the Cavell Group’s opening keynote speech, various vendors took the microphone to talk about their approach to communications in the cloud.
Patrick Joggerst, the CMO and EVP for Business Development was the representative for Ribbon Communications, a global tech company with decades of experience delivering innovative solutions to the marketplace. Here, we’ll look at just some of the elements that Patrick discussed during his cloud and “enterprise transformation” speech.
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The Successful Genband/Sonus Merger
The first thing Patrick discussed when he took the stage was the success of the Sonus Networks and Genband communications merger that gave birth to Ribbon Communications. The merger was announced in May of 2017, and completed in October, bringing together two companies at the very cutting edge of real-time communication and cloud technology.
Patrick noted that the merger had been very straightforward. Both platforms were primed for consolidation, and the resulting Ribbon Communications company connects the strengths that Sonus had to offer for real-time virtualisation, security, and SIP, with the power Genband had in UC, networking, and mobility. The merged brand is now a publicly traded company, ready to invest in R&D and innovation in the years ahead.
To define Ribbon, Patrick explained that the organisation is currently focused on “enterprise transformation”. He commented that moving into the IP world is a difficult process, and digital transformation (DX) is something that takes a long time when done properly.
Leading the Way for Enterprise Transformation
Ribbon Communications are leading the way for enterprises ready to transform their infrastructure in a way that’s powerful and sustainable. Large companies with workers across the globe, according to Patrick, need a solution that allows them to innovate on top of their existing investments.
“Many of the larger companies we’re working with are rationalising their investments in PBX systems from a variety of brands with a thoughtful plan for transformation. It’s about knowing what you have, and where you want to go while making the most of the infrastructure you already have.”
One of the most recent transformations completed by Ribbon Communications took place at The Pentagon. Patrick shared details about how the company had removed many of the old legacy systems in The Pentagon and replaced them with next-level technology over the course of two weekends. “It was basically a brain transplant, taking out legacy equipment and reducing the technology footprint dramatically.”
Over a very small amount of time, Ribbon was able to make the transformation quickly, and effectively, without spending a great deal of money.
New Offerings from Ribbon Communications
Patrick suggested that many of the larger customers Ribbon Communications has today want to make sure that they can take back their network and customers in a thoughtful way. Financial sectors are looking for data protection, while other industries are focusing more heavily on analytics and collaboration.
“We’re looking at ways that we can make the infrastructure local, while adding value-added services on top from the cloud, like a hybridservice.”
One of the most interesting new offerings from Ribbon Communications is their SBC as a service (SBCaaS) solution. They launched this session border control feature with Verizon at first, and it’s designed to help service providers tap into the power of network function virtualisation and orchestration. The managed service comes in both a centralised cloud model version and virtual customer premise equipment service. For service providers, it’s a great opportunity for differentiation, as it means that services can be enhanced within a matter of minutes or days instead of weeks or months.
For enterprises, the SBCaaS solution means that there’s no need to worry about deploying, installing, and managing SBCs. What’s more, the system is easier to align with seasonal business change sand traffic variability.
Introducing Kandy Wrappers
Alongside SBCaaS, Ribbon also has UCaaS solutions to offer too. They believe their current portfolio is very competitive, and the addition of an open ecosystem with “Kandy Wrappers” makes differentiating very easy for channel partners.
“Kandy wrappers are the revenue-ready functional software wrappers that developers and channel providers can deliver as stand-alone features for their customers, or options inserted into their own application.”
“They’re perfect for helping independent software vendors and service providers reduce their time to market. For instance, there’s a Live Support offering which uses the Kandy PaaS to integrate real-time communication features into a website in a very easy way.”
As Patrick put it, enterprises need to be able to communicate with their customers in new and intuitive ways. By embedding a single line of code into an application, service providers can add a live support button wherever it needs to appear. From that point, all the users have to do is choose from a menu that helps them to find the right support agent or sales assistant at a moment’s notice.
A Future in Stronger Customer Service
Many of the most prominent developments by Ribbon, as they were announced in the Cloud Communications Summit, were built around the rising concern of customer experience.
Patrick noted that many Ribbon customers want to “take their customer relationships back”.
As such, Ribbon has built what they call an “Omni-container” that allows them to take care of different communication and customer infrastructures through a simple interface. They’re also putting a range of real-time communication solutions into their portfolio, including the all-new Ribbon RTC for Skype for Business client. This system offers presence, contact, and instant messaging features, among others.
The final update that Patrick spoke about was “Ribbon Protect”, the all-encompassing new feature the brand has recently introduced. This “Ribbon Protect” platform empowers service providers and enterprises alike to respond to real-time communications incidents quicker, and smarter than ever before. The Ribbon Protect service integrates easily with a range of existing existing investments and uses “RTC behavioral analytics to provide a new level of real-time communication security.”